Movie Diary 1/10/2011

City of Fear (Irving Lerner, 1958). Finally, I get to see this all the way through, and it turns out to be not quite as good as the idea of it: Vince Edwards as an escaped convict carrying what he thinks is a steel container of heroin, except it’s really a pound of granulated radioactive material (which was at the prison, we learn in a horrifying throwaway, to be used for experiments on volunteers). Lerner also did the interesting Murder by Contract

And Everything is Going Fine (Steven Soderbergh, 2010). Clips from Spalding Gray’s many monologues, edited together to form something like a chronological account of his life. But doesn’t this mess up the craft of his individual pieces? Maybe not; his need to air his life out in public might have trumped all that artfulness anyway. (full review 1/14)

Over at my other website, What a Feeling!, it’s the first day of a week of Schwarzenegger. First up: The Terminator.

Movie Diary 1/6/2011

Pushover (Richard Quine, 1954). Kim Novak in her film debut, bringing cop Fred MacMurray into a sordid little deal involving a lot of stakeouts and looking into windows and driving around at night. In fact the movie’s drugged pace and repetitive scenes become almost hypnotic. It also has a rather bitter, wised-up attitude toward sex and corruption in general, and doesn’t blink twice about MacMurray setting up his surveillance of Novak by sabotaging her car, taking her back to his place, and sleeping with her. There’s much that’s desperate and dirty about the whole thing.